Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called on Russian airlines to provide free flights for fans to Russia's games at next summer's European Championship. Two of nations biggest carriers, Aeroflot and Transaero, indicated their willingness.
Putin made the request after meeting with a Russian supporters' group that told him that the air fares to travel to Poland and Ukraine for the June 8-July 1 tournament were too expensive.
In first-round play, Russia faces the Czech Republic June 8 in Wroclaw, Poland; hosts Poland in Warsaw for days later; and Greece on June 16 also in Warsaw. The quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled to take place in both the Ukraine and Poland with the final in Kiev.
"We're ready to participate in this initiative, but it is still in the discussion stage," a Transaero spokesman told AFP. "Our partner, the Gazpromneft-Aero company (fuel supplier) is in agreement to supply the fuel for the flight to Kiev," he added.